Here at School Stream we are very lucky to enjoy productive relationships with school administrators all over Australia, New Zealand and further afield internationally. With a workload that would make the Prime Minister blush and send most mere mortals to hide in the bushes, school administrators get on with their busy, varied days with efficiency and a warm-hearted smile. In celebration and acknowledgement of all the hard work of school staff everywhere, we are sharing our recent chat with Leanne Hatt of Grandis Primary School in Western Australia.
A big “Thank you” to Leanne at Grandis Primary School for sharing her insights and expertise.
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“Together We Achieve.”
Grandis Primary is a relatively new school built to cater to the rapidly growing community of Banksia Grove, a suburb 27 kilometers from Perth’s CBD and a ten-minute drive to the coast. After planning and a strong foundation-building stage, Stage 2 was officially opened in February 2020. Fast forward three years, and today the school prides itself on its positive culture, strong links to the community and a collaborative, student-centered learning experience. The facilities include five teaching blocks, an administration area, playgrounds, undercover area, library, dental therapy centre as well as multi-purpose courts and an oval which are shared with the local LGA.
Let’s meet Leanne.
*(interview edited for time and clarity)
Thanks for your time today. We always start by asking about the main responsibilities of your role. As School Officer, what kind of things fall under your remit?
(Plot spoiler: it’s everything!)
As a School Officer, it’s things like front counter reception duties, welcoming parents into the office, answering the phones, dealing with new enrollments to the school and processing the enrolments. I also work alongside and support our Manager Corporate Services with finance, assisting the Principal and Deputy Principals with admin work, helping teachers to lodge faults that need repair, liaising with the cleaners and the gardeners, sorting out of the finance things like paying bills, helping with end of month processes, purchasing…. Lots of things!
Given Grandis Primary is a recently founded school, is there anything specific you need to navigate?
We do have lots of people trying to enrol in our school because we are new, but they’re out of area. We’re a local intake school, so we can only take people who reside within our boundaries. But there are lots of parents from other schools in our area who want to transition over to our school because “Oh I heard it was awesome” and of course because everything is brand new. So we do get lots of those kinds of enquiries.
It does feel like a really lovely, welcoming school.
Yes, it is. We like it.
What are some of the things you love about your role?
“I think it has to be the variety. I love dealing with the kids and the parents, and chatting to them when they come into the office. I like helping whoever else needs help throughout the day – and I like the whole school culture as well. There’s always new things to learn.
Are there any particular challenges you would like to talk about?
I guess the challenges are mostly time related.
That is the most common answer to this question!
It’s always the time thing. Considering we only work 40 weeks of the year, as opposed to most people who work 48, you know you have to get everything done within those 40 weeks. So it’s a matter of being organised and planning ahead. That kind of thing can sometimes be challenging when you’ve got everyone wanting something from you.
What was your experience in setting up School Stream?
I wasn’t involved in the actual setup of it. That was handled by our Principal and our Manager Corporate Service, Jackie. But Jackie did train me on it when I first started, and it was easy. We’re quite the experts at it after a bit of training and help from Brad (School Stream’s Operations Manager).
Brad says you’re using it very well.
We love it. We use it all the time. We’re setting up excursions and making sure we get the notice and the payment side of it right. I recommend it to people we talk to in other schools: “You need to get School Stream – it’s awesome”. It saves phone calls to the office and especially with our absentees, it saves us a lot of time.
My son’s school uses it for high school and we get notices through it all the time. It’s such a great way to communicate with parents. It’s so easy to do and then you’ve got everything in front of you on your phone, don’t you? You can’t say “Oh, I didn’t know about that”.
Do you find your parents have taken to using School Stream to communicate with the school?
They have, yes. There’s probably fewer than fifty people who haven’t joined across the whole entire school. We promote it when we’re doing the new enrollments, so every time someone comes in to enrol we’ve got the flyer in their enrollment pack and we follow it up after they’ve started to make sure they’ve joined. That’s how we communicate from the office, so if they don’t have it, they’re going to miss out, aren’t they?!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We absolutely love it. And we really appreciate all the help from Brad too.
A massive thank you once more to Leanne Hatt who generously took time from her busy day to chat with us.
School Stream wishes all school administrators everywhere a fantastic Term 3 and beyond.
Are you ready to learn more? Let’s get started.